Starting a business is a huge leap of faith for anyone who wants the freedom of doing what they love, working for themselves, or having flexibility in their schedules. Sometimes you may decide to go all in, while other situations call for one to ease in and start a business on the side along with working full time. Whatever your reason, experience entrepreneurs and new business owners alike should follow some sort of guidelines to make sure the process is as organized and successful as possible. Every new venture will encounter a few bumps in the road so it is important to make sure the basic details are taken care of to make those issues easier to handle.  Here are a few steps to take as you start this new opportunity:  Evaluate Evaluate yourself, your skill, your experience, your passion, your budget and your expertise. Be harsh with your answers. These answers will give you a great starting point and insight in what your new business is, can be and how it should be ran. Having preliminary research and base plans information will give you the answers and honesty you need to build on, Research + Make a Plan Now that you know your why and what, it’s time to figure out basic details. Things to consider:
  • What is competition like (what area would benefit from your business)?
  • Will you need office space?
  • Will you need physical stock?
  • Will you need financial support? If so, research what type of business loans/investors are available.
From here, you can take these details and order them in steps to take to get started.  Branding No business is a business without a name. Now is the time to think about a name and research professional to help you bring your business to life with branding, a website and a business plan of action. The name you choose will stay with you and be the face of your company, so research, thoroughly think it through and plan wisely.  Your branding should represent the overall feel of a company. For more on creating a powerful brand, read our previous blog: Creating a Powerful Brand Marketing Research + Get Feedback Know your target audience and their needs/wants will take you a long way on reaching them successfully when you launch your business and want to start growing. Things like surveys, Facebook polls, Google Analytics and blog sites are a just a few ways to gain this insight. Keep in mind that market research can get very frustrating, expensive and be a waste of time if not done properly. Sometimes it’s best to hire a professional who does market research regularly because this is something you want to get right the first time. Your business depends on it.  Licensing + Permits If there is any legal paperwork needed, now is the time to research, fill out or submit anything needed to start working.  Marketing + Promote Your Business Now that your have the foundation built – area of business, name, financial plan, legalities – it’s time to use the information and research and start marketing your business. Again, this is something that takes skill, strategy and experience and should be done with a professional so you aren’t wasting time, energy and money.  Launch Once you start gaining some interest and a following, it’s time to take the final leap. Start making sales, accepting new clients – whatever it is that pertains to your business. Always take a step back (very often in the beginning) and evaluate your business situation. What are you doing that is working? Not working? Where are areas for improvement? Being vigilant is key to being successful and growing a solid business.  Have you started a business or do you own a business? What would be your best advice to someone just starting out?